Early Round Exits:
- Georgia Tech - The Yellow Jackets come to Brooklyn on a Two-Game Win Streak and it's interesting that their matchup with Boston College is a battle between two teams that did not win a road ACC game besides at Pitt. I like BC just barely in this one to end the Yellow Jackets season.
- Wake Forest - The Deacons split the season series this year against the Orange. I expect Wake to come and compete and I give them an outside shot at spoiling Syracuse's NCAA hopes. In the end I see the Deacs falling just short.
- Pittsburgh - Not going to spend a lot of time on this one, the Panthers have been done all season. Nice scrimmage game for Notre Dame.
Day 2 Exits:
- Florida State - The Noles and Louisville played two tight games this season with the road team winning each time by four points (subsequently boosting each of their Tournament resume). I think Louisville actually accomplished more overall away from home this year than FSU and they have much more on the line than FSU in this game. I will take the Noles to have a brief stay in Brooklyn.
- Boston College - The Eagles actually matchup decently well against NC State. If Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson have play well, they have a real shot at making the Quarters. However, this NC State team finished the year winning their last five of six and are simply too hot to pick against at this stage.
- North Carolina - Remember that this tournament is in Brooklyn. Remember that this is March and Jim Boeheim teams are executing the 2-3 zone at a much more effective level than any other time of year. And remember that this Tar Heel team has been known to be streaky and right now they come in on a two game losing streak. I could be dead wrong here, and the Heels are capable of winning four games in four days, but this matchup to me has upset written on it.
- Virginia Tech - I really like the way the Hokies are playing right now. They are safely in the projected field and maybe looking ahead to the NCAA's. Also, this Notre Dame team is finally healthy and will have a lot to prove after their day one tune up against Pitt. Look for the Irish to open some eyes with a win over Virginia Tech.
Gone in the Quarters:
- Louisviille - In a rematch of the insane game last week where Louisville miraculously lost, I believe Virginia will be fresh and prepared for the Cardinals. Louisville will still be playing for potentially their tournament lives and could make this a real good game. But in the end, Cavs get to the Semi's.
- Clemson - It's been a heck of a ride all year for the Tigers and congratulations to Coach Brad Brownell on finally getting Clemson into the Big Dance. As for the ACC's though, I think they are in trouble against NC State. Clemson didn't win an ACC game away from home against a tournament caliber team and I don't see that changing here.
- Syracuse - The Orange have to comeback after upsetting UNC and face a fresh Miami Hurricane team. Cuse beat them in Miami earlier this year, but I expect this Orange team to fall just short. It wouldn't shock me to see them in the Semifinals, but that is just too much to ask.
- Notre Dame - Dangerous squad with everything to gain in Brooklyn. I expect them to come in confidentally and give Duke a real test. In the end, the not so great depth of the Irish will catch up to them against the talented fresh legs from Duke. Watch out for the Irish in your NIT Brackets.
Semifinal Send Offs:
- NC State - I badly want to pick the Wolfpack to win this game over Virginia. The Pack are playing really solid hoops lately and I'm not sold on the Cavs winning this tournament. But in the end, I'm going to play it safe and predict NC State fall just short. Don't be surprised if NC State makes the Title Game.
- Miami - The Hurricanes come in to this tournament red hot after the buzzer beater at UNC and win over Virginia Tech last week. I think they're ready to battle Duke throughout a great Semifinal. However, Duke will be too strong in the end and Miami will feel good about their NCAA Tournament bid on Sunday.
Duke over Virginia - Obviously two excellent teams meeting up here for a trophy. But so much more to gain for Duke than the Cavs, with potentially a #1 Seed at stake. Beyond that, I think Virginia looked very beatable coming into the tournament and Duke will be looking for revenge. I'll go with the Blue Devils to win their 21st ACC Tournament.